Irrfan Khan's death has been tragic. The veteran actor had breathed his last at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on April 29. He died due to colon infection after battling neuroendocrine tumor for two years.
Due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown, a few people were present during his last rites and among them was one of his closest friends and actor Imraan Hasnee. He knew Irrfan for the past several years and had to seek special permission to be able to remain physically at the actor's funeral.
"As the lockdown is on, I had to take special permission to go there. I was so numb at that point of time but I had to go rushing to see my friend who stood by me for 20 years. There was a time limit and only a select number of people could gather, so we were hurrying up everything. We were just following the rules," Imraan recalled about attending Irrfan's last journey while speaking to IANS.
The two worked together in Bollywood films like Paan Singh Tomar and international projects as A Mighty Heart and Slumdog Millionaire among others. Imraan terms Khan's acting as a spiritual expression. In Paan Singh Tomar, Irrfan played the title character while Imraan played his elder brother Matadeen Tomar.
"We shot that film under very tough weather condition in Chambal and Roorkee, and in the evening we usually would get tired. When we had the time we would go to a nearby club and play billiards. There is a village in Roorkee where villagers prepare fresh gur (molasses) and we used to go to have freshly made hot gur. That used to be delicious! He went through so much training to get the right body and body language, but you never heard him extensively talking about how he built his body that you otherwise get to see among others," Imraan said.
'Irrfan never used to celebrate'
Despite winning several honours including the National Award and Padma Shri, Imraan recalls Irrfan was never "loud" in celebration or showing off.
"He was not one of those people who would indulge in celebration for an award, like 'tamasha'. He would find happiness in small things, like flying kites or playing cricket. He used to feel happy to be surrounded by his family and close friends," said Imraan.
Asked how he would like to remember Irrfan, Imraan said, "(I would like to remember Irrfan) Through his performances. His performance was an extension of spiritual expression. That is why there was a connection between the art and the artist. That is why he touched so many lives through his on-screen presence."